22 for 2017: Florida In-State Targets

FightinGators.com takes a look at the top 20 in-state targets in the 2017 class.

Florida has made it not secret this recruiting cycle, they are making recruiting the Sunshine state a priority. The Gators have already locked in a few players from the state: 

  • Four-star quarterback, Jake Allen, from St. Thomas Aquinas. 
  • Four-star tight end, Kemore Gamble, from Miami Southridge.
  • Three-star offensive tackle, Kadeem Telfort, from Booker T Washington. 
  • Four-star wide receiver Daquon Green, from Tampa Bay Technical. 

But the Gators are not stopping there. Here is a look at the top 17 in-state targets the staff will continue to focus on this cycle. 


Five-star Tedarrell Slaton is certainly one Florida would love to add to this class. The offensive lineman from American Heritage High is a strong individual, who overpowers opponents. Slaton is seeing interest from several schools including Florida: Clemson, Alabama, Duke, FSU, Michigan and Tennessee to name a few. The No. 1 offensive guard in the country, however, says the Tigers are his leaders. However, MichiganFloridaFlorida StateAlabama and Mississippi remain in the thick of his recruitment. 


Slaton's teammate at American Heritage, Kai-Leon Herbert, is a different story. The four-star tackle has had the Gators in the lead for months. Although other schools still remain in the mix for Herbert, the feeling around the Scout 300 lineman is he will be a Gator. 


Zach Carter continues to be one of UF's top defensive end targets. The four-star from Hillsborough high in Tampa, Florida has Clemson and Florida as the two standing out. Although the Tigers are showing him plenty he likes, his relationship with the Gators staff and geography could help the in-state school in the long run. Carter expects to take some summer visits before any decision is made. 


Florida is not only focusing in-state, but they are also hoping to land a few recruits from their backyard. Tampa, Florida will be a huge area they will be focusing on. Devan Barrett is certainly a target they want to land in this class. Although the four-star athlete can play a wide range of positions, which is something Florida continues to study, Barrett has piqued their interest at running back. Barrett recently visited Auburn and is planning to visit Notre Dame. UF continues to trend high with Barrett. 


Four-star corner, Latavious Brini exploded onto the scene. The Gators offered Brini back in February, and since then his stock has sky rocketed. The Hialeah native holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Miami and many more. The Scout 300 cornerback has visited Alabama, UF, FSU and UGA this spring, however, he expects to take more visits this summer, including one to South Bend to check out the Fighting Irish. Originally Brini was going to announce his decision in April, which would have been right after his visit to Florida. But with all these new offers Brini wanted to see more schools. The Gators are still high on his radar, and the staff continues to recruit him hard. 


Jarez Parks is the number one defensive end in Florida and Scout's No. 40 player overall in the 2017 rankings. The four-star Sebastian River standout holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, and Notre Dame to name a few. He took a trip to Gainesville this spring and left extremely impressed with the intensity of practice. 


The addition of Torrian Gray has done wonders with James Robinson. The four-star Lakeland star had Clemson has the front runner, but the Gators have slowly inched their way up the list. Robinson has been a frequent visitor this spring. 


Christopher Henderson remains committed to Miami, however, the Gators are making him think about that decision. Henderson has visited Gainesville several times this spring and his very close friends with Gators pledge, Kemore Gamble. The four-star cornerback likes the Gators because he could have the opportunity to not only excel at football but also in track. 


Despite Adarius Lemons' commitment to North Carolina, many continue to pursue the four-star running back from Clearwater, including Florida. Both Tim Skipper and Doug Nussmeier stopped by his high school and Lemons has started to listen. 


Another running back target is Miami pledge, Bentavious Thompson. The Gators continues to be on the Miami Southridge playmaker's radar. Thompson knows UF is making him one of its priorities and the good thing, he is listening. 


Marco Wilson continues to see himself linked to Florida. The four-star cornerback from American Heritage, is Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson's younger brother. FloridaMiami (Fl)Tennessee and Oklahoma are all heavily pursuing the playmaker. He recently visited the Gators this spring. 


Shaun Wade might be committed to Ohio State, however, the four-star corner is still researching possible landing spots. Wade wants to early enroll at his chosen school, so expect this summer to be big for the Trinity Christian Academy playmaker. The Gators are certainly one school he has his eye on, being close to home, his relationship with the staff and UF's tradition are three things standing out to him right now. However, Alabama is also one to watch in his recruitment. Wade also has plenty of family near 'Bama and he also loves the Crimson Tide's tradition. 


There is plenty to like about four-star center, Cesar Ruiz. He is quick for his size and can explodes well. Ruiz has plenty of suitors including: Florida, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee to name a few. The Gators will need to work to land the No. 1 center in the state. 


Deandre Wilder seems high on the Hurricanes, but the Gators continue to pursue. The four-star linebacker out of Miami, Florida, still has Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Tennessee in the mix. 


Even though Florida landed a tight end commit in Gamble, the Gators would like nothing more to add one more tight end in this class, and Tre McKitty is certainly at the top of the want list. The playmaker from IMG Academy is no where near making a decision, as he plans to take all of his official visits. Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami are all fighting to land the standout from Bradenton, Florida. 


The Gators continue to have Jerry Jeudy high on their board. The four-star wide receiver, however, could be a tough reel. Alabama and Miami continue to be two schools that are mentioned more frequently by the playmaker from Deerfield Beach. 


UF will also have some work to do with Daniel Wright. The Scout 300 safety from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has had Florida State at the top of the list for months. The Noles look to be in a good place to land Wright. Clemson and LSU are the other schools in the mix as well. 


Florida is one of Jordon Scott's newest offers, however, the Gators are already in the thick of things. The three-star defensive tackle was a huge fan of the program growing up, and although schools like FSU, FAU, Indiana and Iowa State offered earlier, UF is in good shape with the Pinellas Park defender.  


Although Shawn Davis did not visit this weekend due to a game, things are still heating up for the three-star corner from Miami Southridge. The Miami native is still high on Florida and the staff are high on him. When he does find himself in Gainesville, you can be sure FightinGators.com will be on commitment watch. 


Navaughn Donaldson committed to Miami last summer when Al Golden was in charge. Although the Miami Central offensive lineman remains committed to the Hurricanes and has been vocal about how much he likes the new staff in Coral Gables, the Gators are still going to put on the full court press. 


Four-star offensive tackle, Alex Leatherwood, is committed to Alabama, however, it looks like the Gators have done enough to make him listen. The Booker T Washington standout visited Gainesville this spring, where he spent a lot of time with offensive line coach Mike Summers


Nothing has really changed for Cyrus Fagan from Mainland high school. The four-star safety committed to FSU in February. Although he did make his pledge to the Noles, UF still has him high on its board. 

Others to keep an eye on: five-star offensive tackle, Calvin Ashley, from Dr. Phillips and an Auburn pledge; four-star wide receiver, Trevon Grimes, from St. Thomas Aquinas;  four-star athlete, Bruce Judson; Bartow defensive end L.J. Cummings; three-star Dr. Phillips High linebacker, Nick Smith; and four-star offensive lineman, Nick Brahms, from Navarre High School. 


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